The most rewarding experience of my life in the Philippines; helping build a more sustainable future for a local farming community in Palawan through helping with tasks that earn them an income. The volunteer project in Palawan is perfect for those wanting to fully immerse themselves in Filipino culture by living with and assisting a local farming community. The Palawan Experience is a project in which participants will participate in a local’s daily task by offering their help and support to villagers and learning about their lifestyle starting from the basics of life.
“This unique experience made me rethink various aspects of life that I was taking for granted, appreciate the hard work, diversity, become more humble and seek similar experiences.”
2 Weeks in Palawan!
When I arrived in the Philippines, I was met at the airport by my project co-ordinator who drove me to the home of the host family I was staying with. My transfer was carefree ad everything had been taken care of for me. My host family were warm and welcoming. Although the accommodation was basic and I had to use minimal resources including toilet roll and water, it was clean and comfortable and I was very content there throughout my two weeks. The food cooked for me was basic but nutrition and was of typical Filipino flair, I’ve never before tried Filipino food so this was a great opportunity to sample the local cuisine.
Each day I was assigned two tasks. My tasks were always varied and included activities such as cooking, cleaning, sowing, farming, tending to animals, gardening and much more. I worked closely with the locals who showed me the best techniques for my task as well as educated me on their culture and way of life. The locals were full of praise and gratitude and from day one I was made to feel part of this close knit community.
Life in the Philippines
On an evening, the participants would come together at local cafes and mingle with one another. It was great to meet like minded people who also had a passion for developing communities less fortunate than ourselves. Our co-ordinators kindly arranged for the participants to complete activities on an evening designed to help us get to know one another.
During the night’s activities, the participants all had a great time, we played games, sang karaoke, lit a bonfire and learned cultural dances. On the weekend, we got to explore more of Palawan’s amazing places such as Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Port Barton and Coron. The weekends were the best as they provided us with some well deserved rest and relaxation from the project.
This unique experience made me rethink various aspects of life that I was taking for granted, appreciate the hard work, diversity, become more humble and seek similar experiences. By the end of the program I felt as if I discovered a new part in me, and as I’m leaving this place, the memories will stay with me forever.